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Sabres GM ready for new challenges after tenure with Penguins

Sabres GM ready for new challenges after tenure with Penguins
Published On: Mon, Jun 12
Apr 18, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his second period goal with left wing Chris Kunitz (14) as the New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) skates away during game 2 of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Botterill stood on the ice at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday when the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated with the Stanley Cup, a Penguins towel draped over his right shoulder. Sometimes he used the words "our" and "us," sometimes "their" and "they."

He's general manager of the Buffalo Sabres now. But until May 11, he was associate GM of the Penguins. He spent 10 years in Pittsburgh's front office, so when the Penguins put themselves in position to clinch, they invited him and his family on a charter with other families for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

When Patric Hornqvist and Carl Hagelin scored late in the third period and the Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0, Botterill was part of his third championship with Pittsburgh, following 2009 and '16.

"This is the finale," he said of his time with the Penguins, "and a pretty good way to go out."

Botterill was to fly back to Buffalo on Monday. He has to hire a coach, and now that the Final is over, he can pursue Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet or Predators assistant Phil Housley if he wants. He said he hoped to decide on a coach later this week or next week.

He must submit the Sabres' list of protected players for the NHL Expansion Draft by 5 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Vegas Golden Knights' selections will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 21. The 2017 NHL Draft is in Chicago on June 23 and 24. Free agency begins July 1.

Needless to say, Botterill wants to be standing on the ice as the Sabres celebrate with the Stanley Cup someday, using the words "our" and "us," and this is the beginning. Asked what he wanted to take from Pittsburgh to Buffalo, he didn't hesitate.

Read the complete news article here...

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